Eleanor is passionate about politics and has been involved with every aspect as both a volunteer in election campaigns for over twenty years as well as a political staffer working in Ottawa for Cabinet Ministers on Parliament Hill. She honed her research and communication skills and accompanied her Ministers on travel throughout Central and South America where it was an honour to represent Canada.
After leaving Parliament Hill, she joined an organization called CJPAC (the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee). As their Director of Campus Programming she was responsible for their flagship program – The Fellowship. Her focus was on training the next generation of political junkies and imparting her love for and knowledge about politics aimed at engaging students in the political process. She used her creativity and organizational skills to plan major conferences each year in Ottawa involving dozens of speakers over multiple days.
Looking for fresh challenges she joined Phaze 3 Management Inc in 2019 continuing her work with politics from a new perspective. She also started volunteering with Together We Stand Foundation. Bringing her experience in government and organization to Together We Stand she has helped with programs such as Operation Care Package and participated in The Command Post. She was an enthusiastic part of the second annual Military Family Appreciation Day and wants to continue working to develop these and other programs helping to support and honour military families across Canada.
She has been part of a military family for almost 20 years. Her husband, combat infantry Warrant Officer and trained paratrooper who has been deployed 4 times. They spent a long time apart pursuing their separate careers before coming together in Edmonton and then being posted back to Ontario. They have an energetic five year old son and an appropriately named cat, Remington.
Suzie Fortin was born and raised in Saguenay, QC and she always wanted to explore the world and learn English. At 17 years old she joined the Naval Reserve as a Naval Communicator. She went to Victoria,BC in 1999 and Halifax, NS in 2000 to complete her training ashore and on ships.
Suzie attended University Laval where she completed her Engineering degree and MBA. She decided to do one last class B contract with the reserve after she graduated in 2004 and she just so happened to meet her husband Chris that summer. He followed her to Quebec City and then she had to go back to Saguenay to work in her field. In 2006, Suzie got a job in Gatineau and moved with Chris in Ottawa after they got married and Chris transferred to the Regular Forces.
Suzie followed Chris literally Coast to coast: Victoria 2007, Ottawa 2013, Montreal 2016, Toronto 2017, Halifax 2018 and back in Ottawa in 2020. Suzie has been a public servant since 2007 when she worked as the Material Engineer at CFB Esquimalt.
Suzie and Chris have two very resilient boys born in 2008 and 2011. Suzie held the home front when Chris was at sea or when he deployed. The two longest were a 8.5 months Navy deployment in 2013 and a 6.5 months in Kuwait in 2016.
Suzie works currently is the Engineering Manager and has been with the Canadian Coast Guard since 2016 as they enabled her to work remotely for the Headquarters in Ottawa for the last 3 postings.
Suzie has a unique experience as a reservist, a spouse, a mother and also a public servant for 3 Departments and is a proud first language French speaker. She wants to give back to the military families. She is so thankful for Together we Stand and everything they do and wants to raise awareness about the foundation to all military families but more specifically to the francophones.
Matt is a Canadian Military Veteran who served in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. He was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team. On December 13th 2008, he was part of a patrol that was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, resulting in 3 KIA (killed in action). Upon returning home, Matt was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and was medically released in 2013. He has found helping other Veterans and their families an important part of his post service life, making the commitment to TWS an easy one.
Rebekah is a lifelong learner, professional historian, veteran spouse and mom to three children. She understands the sacrifices of military families and its members, as her grandfather-in-law, aunt, uncle, brother and husband have all devoted years of service to the Canadian Armed Forces. Following her husband’s medical release from the CAF, she has openly discussed the transitional challenges Veterans and their families face after service. She has also highlighted the importance of breaking down the stigma around mental health for the military and veteran community and psychoeducation, which has also transferred into her museum and archival work.
She is a graduate of Bishop’s University (Honours History) and the Master of Arts (Public History) program at The University of Western Ontario. She is Curator at the York Region District School Board Museum & Archives, and also serves as a guest lecturer at Fleming College, in the Museum Management and Curatorship & Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management programs. In addition to volunteering with Wounded Warriors Canada, the Highway of Heroes Clean-Up, her church community and other local charities, it has been an honour for Rebekah to serve the veteran community in her role as a veteran spouse on the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Council since 2019. She is a Legion member and member of her local Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) chapter. In her spare time, she thoroughly enjoys volunteering, spending time outdoors with her family and has a love-hate relationship with her road bike.